Fundamental Probability and the Definition of Value


It is a logical deduction to make in order to generate profits from sports wagering, which requires the ability to precisely forecast the outcomes of sporting events. Although this statement is technically accurate, it may come as a surprise to discover that making accurate predictions does not guarantee a steady stream of profits.

This is due to the fact that despite your proficiency, you cannot guarantee accurate predictions on every occasion. Simply put, sports events involve an excessive number of variables. Even highly accomplished gamblers cannot always be certain of their results.

While consistent accuracy is undeniably advantageous, identifying value is an even more critical element when it comes to wagering.
Value is a term frequently used by sports gamblers, and it is critical for your success that you possess a thorough understanding of it.

This page defines value and defines its relationship to probability. Before proceeding, it is imperative to define your strike rate in the context of sports wagering and underscore why it might not be sufficient to merely produce accurate predictions more frequently than incorrect ones.

The Hit Rate

A strike rate in sports wagering pertains to the proportion of completed successful wagers to the total number of bets placed. Generally, it is denoted as a percentage. To illustrate, if you place one hundred wagers and achieve fifty wins, your strike rate is fifty percent.

If each and every bet you placed resulted in a victory, you would attain a strike rate of 100%, undoubtedly generating substantial profits.
However, this is completely implausible, as we have previously articulated.
Although it is advisable to strive for maximum accuracy when making predictions, a high strike rate does not necessarily indicate a sustainable profit over an extended period of time.

This will be illustrated through the use of a hypothetical situation involving wagers on the outcomes of tennis matches. To illustrate this point, we shall utilize the initial day of the 2013 US Open. Early round matches of a tournament typically feature favorable outcomes for the majority of the contenders. Consequently, placing bets on all of them could provide a reasonably certain return on investment.

Consider the potential outcomes of placing bets on all the contenders in the men’s matches that were scheduled to commence on the first day.

It is evident that you would have achieved an almost 80% success rate.
An impressive achievement of winning nearly four out of five wagers at first glance. Nevertheless, the favorites had average odds of 1.25 to win on that particular day. If you had placed a $10 wager on each match in accordance with those odds, your 15 winning wagers would have yielded a total of $187.50 (including your wager), or $37.50 in profit. Four wagers, each worth $10, would have been forfeited, resulting in a total loss of $2.50.

You have only just incurred a loss; the identical strategy could have potentially yielded a modest profit on another day. However, this example has not been utilized to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of placing bets on the favorites in tennis matches, and the representative sample size is already quite limited. Using this example to demonstrate the point is that a high strike rate does not necessarily indicate that a venture will be profitable.

Alternatively stated, your strike rate is not indicative of your likelihood of achieving monetary gains. It merely indicates the proportion of won wagers to total placed wagers. As previously demonstrated, achieving a high percentage of winnings on your bets does not automatically translate to financial gain. Your level of success is not solely determined by the quantity of accurate predictions you make, but rather by the average quality of those predictions.


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